It’s that time of year again. Schools out and the smell of summer is in the air. As the weather heats up attention turns to family summer holidays and the arduous task of planning for such. Time away with the family can be a great time to de-stress, recharge batteries and have some much needed fun. Gone however are the days of last minute family travel, with kids in tow, planning a summer holiday is a much more time intensive task.
A recent Auto Europe survey, states that Brits save on average £3,500 for their summer holidays. Luckily, even though Sterling has taken a hit recently, there are still great escapes that can be found for £3,500 within Europe. Value for money deals exist and even include flights, car hire and accommodation for the whole family at very competitive prices.
Family holiday in Euro Disney Paris
A must go for kids big and small, with fun for all the family in a secure environment surrounded by your favourite Disney characters. Disneyland Paris is actually two parks in one – Disneyland itself and Walt Disney Studios. There is also Disney Village which encompasses restaurants, cinemas, shops and bars. It is recommended if possible to avoid summer breaks, Easter breaks and weekends. These times normally come with costlier tickets and longer queuing times. Disneyland Paris Resort comes with numerous rides. For adult rides such as Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain are a great option, for smaller kids however, a trip through Alice’s Curious Labyrinth or it’s a small world, might be better suited. Overall, the aim is to have fun with the whole family.
Costs vary but it is more than possible to gain a 4 day pass (2 adults, 2 kids) for both parks for as little as £600, a Eurostar return with car for £150 and with the remaining £2,750 for fuel, hotels, tolls and food whilst there.
Family holiday in Olbia, Sardinia, Italy
Namely one of the most beautiful places in Europe to visit. If sun, crystal clear water and beautiful beaches are your thing, then Olbia, namely Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, Italy, is a must visit for all the family. With 37.7% of Brits saving for a sunshine holiday in Europe, Sardinia will not disappoint.
Notable one of the most expensive locations in Europe, this area has attracted celebrities and well-to-dos for many years. With its white sandy beaches, exclusive hotels and golf clubs, you’d be mistaken for thinking it would be impossible to visit for just £3,500. Obviously, like all other locations the time of year is important. Summer time and school breaks tend to command more expensive flights, hotels and car hire.
Exploring various options, it was possible to fly from Luton, UK to Olbia, Sardinia for a family (2 adults, 2 kids) for as little as £600. Once there, car hire in Sardinia for 5 days came to £140 and 5 day accommodation £778. All of which left around £2,000 for food, entertainment and other activities.
Once on this beautiful island, the options are endless. With a hired car it is possible to drive around and explore all of what Sardinia has to offer – and it certainly is a lot. Staying in the Olbia province, the family will adore the white sandy beaches and clear waters of Liscia Ruja, Porto Cervo and Spiaggia Capriccioli, to name but a few. Other family attractions would include the breathless Dolphin & Whale watching tours and the extremely fun for all Aquadream park.
Family holiday in Lapland, Sweden
An alternative to the beach style summer holidays but just as exciting, would be to head towards Lapland, Sweden, for the “summer”. Notably, not the first location people may think of for a summer holiday – but as 2.5% of Brits saved for a different style of holiday, this could be an ideal option.
Now Lapland isn’t always known for economical family travel. However, if primarily booking things directly, it is possible to make good savings. Even whilst eating out, many restaurants offer lunch time buffet meals from as little as £6 and cheaper for kids. For a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids), from as little as £2,500, one option could be to book into a dog sledging holiday. This may sound costly but it actually is great value for money upon realising it’s all inclusive. This type of family travel comes with cosy warm cottages, candlelit meals and plenty of fun with huskies included in the price.
Flying to Sweden shouldn’t be too costly either. Flights can be as little as £25 per person from London to Stockholm and internal domestic flights from £30 per person to Kiruna. At Kiruna, simply make the one hour journey by car hire or coach to Abisko. This location is known as the best place in Sweden to see the northern lights within the Arctic Circle.
Other family fun activities that can be done include, horseback riding, ice-fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snow jet skiing, igloo-building and everything else that an outside northern lifestyle can offer.
Family holiday in Montreux, Switzerland
If chocolate is what the family love, why not take a city break to Montreux and ride on the Swiss chocolate train. According to our Auto Europe poll, 21.4% of Brits save money for a city break in Europe. Fly the family to Geneva, Switzerland from the UK from as little as £360 (2 adults, 2 kids), then grab a car hire at the airport and within an hour you will arrive in the beautiful city of Montreux.
Nestled on the Geneva Lake, Montreux is a traditional Swiss town with a mild climate. During the month of July, the town also hosts the International Jazz festival, which is the second largest in the world and a must see for any Jazz enthusiast.
It’s within this pretty town that, what is locally and affectionately known as the Chocolate Train resides. Whether a Pullman 1915 vintage coach or a modern panoramic train, a 1st class service is always guaranteed. Fares for a Swiss Travel Pass are £45 each and the journey takes approximately 9 hours to complete from Montreux to the Callier-Nestlé chocolate factory in Broc. Enjoy the journey tasting numerous Swiss chocolates until finally arriving at the chocolate factory, where a guided tour awaits. Accommodation in Montreux is also very affordable and can be found from as little as £790 for the whole family, often centrally located too.
Family holiday in Azores, Portugal
The Islands of Azores isn’t normally on everyone’s list for a family holiday. Looking closer however reveals a collection of islands that are not only very safe, but perfect for family adventures. Azores are a group of six volcanic islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean, just west of continental Portugal. Flying the whole family (2 adults, 2 kids), directly from UK to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, can cost as little as £995 return. Accommodation can also be sought for as little as £80 per night.
Azores is all about reconnecting with nature. If there is a love for the outdoors then this is a must. Options are endless; see wild dolphins, whales and turtles, surf, snorkel, scuba dive or do some sailing – these volcanic islands are perfectly wild and enchanting. Travel Inland and experience mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, paragliding, amazing waterfalls, caves, and even swim in century old crater lakes.
So whether the perfect summer holiday is white sandy beaches in Sardinia, husky sledging in Sweden, chocolate tasting in Switzerland or connecting with nature in the Azores, with a budget of £3,500, the whole family is able to create unforgettable memories, in unforgettable places.